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Leg Post 65 continues the insidious quest of Aman Tabiz and Pirithous as they have been contracted by Hera to murder the illegitimate children of Zeus. They have arrived in Sparta with the intention of killing Princess Helen, daughter of Queen Leda. Pirithous pretends to be a beggar who is working as a deliveryman for a trader in town when he bumps into the queen. He begs forgiveness and explains that the ring he carries is blessed by Apollo to cure sickness. Her interest perks as her daughter has been ill as late and so she goes to town to find 'Master Spice', who is Aman Tabiz. Initially the queen wants to take the ring immediately but through some smart dialogue revolving around the rules of the city, Aman convinces her that his delivery man will bring it in the morning. Pirithous, as the delivery man, is permitted access to the royal palace and he wastes no time skulking through its corridors to find Helen. He finds her in the garden but discovers that she is just a girl of eight years old and cannot kill her. Desperate, he knocks her out and escape the palace to the arranged spot to flee Sparta with the guards seeking him out. They take Helen as captive to a friend of Aman's named Medea who now runs the School for Crazies on Lesbos. She explains that she can take Helen and nobody would believe her when she told people she was a princess, however Medea is planning to leave and live in Troy with Cassandra, who has the gift of future-sight. She agrees to, therefore, leave Helen at the school under the care of Sappho, who she suspects of being a lesbian NeSferatu. The two men leave and travel the Indian Ocean in a ship called the Argo. They reach a the floating island of Uttura Madurai, one of the Three Sangams of Kumari Kandam and the only remaining piece of Lemuria. There Aman uses Hercules' Bow to poison Orion with madness, forcing the man to try to kill his half-siblings Apollo and Artemis. He mortally wounds Apollo so Artemis is forced to slay him. She takes Apollo to Mount Olympus for healing but seeks vengeance on the human who owns the bow. Aman and Pirithous had planted many rumours throughout the year of who had stolen the bow and Artemis discovers this suspect and kills him, never knowing the true culprits. The two return to Egypt for their last mission, as Pirithous wants to return to Hippodamia and, mostly, the boy Spud who he thinks of as a son. They use the Great Library to gather information on how to enter Hades so that they can kill Persephone. They learn of how Thetis managed to gain access to Hades by using the Egpytian underworld, Duat, as in in Leg Post 63. They cannot go the same way but this inspired Aman's next idea. They travel to the Theban Necropolis to meet with Hathor to ask for her help, being one of the few to know of their true mission. On the way they meet with Ptah who offers to guide them to the Valley of Queens where Hathor currently is. They are attacked, however, by the Guardian of the Theban Necropolis, Meretseger. She decides to guide them instead and drives Ptah away. She wants to know their business and gets into a brief fight with Hathor but she relents and leaves. Aman assures Hathor this would be their last intrusion and makes the unusual request of becoming her handmaidens.

Post

Murder Most Foul

Aman Tabiz: “Welcome! Welcome! These are beautiful wares from overseas, the likes of which you will never see outside of their homelands. Here is a precious statue of the Goddess Hothar, observe the intricate detail of the horns and the sun of life. And here is an amulet from the distant Celtic land of Britannia, which is said to grant one wish per month by the blessings of Epona. And here is a marvellous vase from the city of Troy, where the mighty Greek Gods rule. And here I have precious medicines from China, the most prosperous civilisation in the world. Come, come! Anything I can help you with, good sir?”

Aman Tabiz was wearing a bright robe of white that was trimmed with gold and turquoise. It was a gesture of great opulence. He even wore curly-toed shoes. On his head was a turban, carefully wrapped. He feigned a strong Sabaean accent to give him some legitimacy as an exotic trader. The Spartans generally had a preference for useful wares from his store, though they drawn to the most finely crafted goods as they showed dedication by the craftsman and this they appreciated. Initially it was only the useful, though well-made, objects that were sold, such as the vases and clothing. Of the trinkets he realised only the objects said to have powers or divine function would be sold and so, soon enough, every necklace, ring or broach had a special gift.

Soon enough his little shop was making a great deal of money and he had to wonder if this wasn’t his true calling in life. But he knew he had to act with greater purpose, for the sake of humankind. He had long ago know that this Earth was for humanity and not for the gods. Humans required such precise conditions in which to live and the Earth was primed for human life. Gods required no such thing and so they didn’t require the Earth. They subjugated the people under the pretence that they were all-powerful, as though this was reason enough for them to rule. Aman had constantly found that the best rulers were not the strongest, they were not even the smartest. They were the most charismatic. They were the rulers who wanted to help. They were everything that humanity should strive to be.

He did not approve of the Spartan way. To him they seemed less than human. They seemed void of compassion, of kindness, of vibrance. They were all soldiers, down to the last husband, wife and child. This entire civilisation was one big war machine. He often disliked his own actions, though he accept they must be done to protect everyone. But he held no such qualms about these Spartans. He would perform his service to Hera and eliminate Helen of Sparta without restraint for she was surely to bring war.

The market was some way from the royal palace. Keeping watch there was Pirithous. He was dressed in ragged clothes even worse than his usual robes. He held a stick and hunched over as far as he could. He ensured his lost ear was firmly on display to give himself the most piteous appearance he could muster.

The queen of Sparta, Queen Leda, was never afraid of the people. She had just two guards whenever she left the palace and strode with rapidity down the roads so the two of them had to chase after her. Pirithous had observed one desperate thief try to snatch the purse from her hip but the woman had snagged his arm and, in an instant, snapped it in half. Crime in Sparta was severely punished and the man was executed on the spot. Beggars were quite rare but at least tolerated. Pirithous supposed the Spartans believed there was always a chance a beggar could come back from destitution one day but a thief was always a thief.

Queen Leda strode now from the palace and Pirithous plucked up his courage.

He bumped into her. He was very careful not to touch her too much and upon immediate contact he flung himself backwards to the ground, as though she had given him a mighty shove. He sprawled there before he scrambled to his knees. He remained down there with his head bowed.

Pirithous: “Oh! Forgive me my lady! I am sorry!”

She saw the jewel in his hand. She reached down and yanked him to his feet.

Queen Leda: “You walk into your queen and you are a thief!? Guard!”

Pirithous: “No! No! Please, my queen! I am no thief! I was hired to deliver this ring to a noblewoman in these parts. I got lost and wasn’t watching my path. I’m so sorry that I walked into you, my queen. You walk so fast, I had no time to move! Please, please forgive my ineptitude! It won’t ever happen again!”

Pirithous’ Greek accent was perfect. As a child he had tried to copy the Greek sailors, wanting to be like his absent father when he grew up.

Queen Leda released him with a sneer.

Queen Leda: “Who would hire a beggar to deliver his precious wares?”

Pirithous realised they hadn’t come up with a name and stammered.

Pirithous: “Uh, ah, erm… Spice… Spice… Spice GeriMelMelPoshBaby!”

She looked incredulously at him.

Queen Leda: “What?”

Pirithous: “It’s one of those… foreign names, my queen. He hired me to help me earn some money. He knows crime has grave consequences in Sparta so he trusts I will do as he asks on the promise of further delivery work.”

Queen Leda: “That does sound promising. I hope you can get off the streets soon. You clutter the place. But I’m surprised a Spartan would buy something as useless as a ring.”

Pirithous: “Ah. I believe it is no ordinary ring, my queen. It was blessed by Apollo himself. It will grant the wearer immunity to illness. If you become sick, you can wear this for a day and your sickness will disappear.”

Queen Leda: “Interesting…”

She snatched it and looked at it keenly.

Queen Leda: “It appears of fine quality.”

Pirithous: “I heard Master Spice say it was from the master craftsmen of Troy.”

Queen Leda: “My daughter has been sick recently. Perhaps this would do.”

Pirithous: “I am sorry to hear of Princess Helen being sick, my lady. I’m sure Master Spice can provide you with a similar jewel to help her.”

Queen Leda: “Very well. Go. On your way.”

He scurried off, though he glanced back as he went through the crowd to see that she was headed to the town market. He pocketed the ring, straightened his back and whistled a merry tune as he went down into a shadowy alley.

In the market the queen soon found the stall of exotic goods where Aman Tabiz was affirming the potency of a potion of fertility to an especially desperate woman. He looked up to see the queen and the woman quickly moved aside.

Queen Leda: “You are Master Spice GeriMelMelPoshBaby?”

Aman blinked, stupefied.

Queen Leda: “I met the beggar delivering your wares.”

Aman Tabiz: “Ah! Sorry, my lady of the sun. I have told very few my name. You took me by surprise. How may I serve you?”

Queen Leda: “You have a ring that can protect from sickness? Blessed by Apollo?”

Aman Tabiz: “Indeed! I have a whole set. Just one moment.”

He fished out a handsome, leather box and carefully opened it to reveal three things, with the obvious impression where a fourth once lay.

Aman Tabiz: “They are extremely rare, only four in existence.”

Queen Leda: “It will work?”

Aman Tabiz: “Absolutely.”

Queen Leda: “Then I will take one.”

She held out her hand.

Aman Tabiz: “Of course, my queen! I shall have my delivery man bring it to you tomorrow.”

Queen Leda: “You can give it to me now.”

Aman Tabiz: “But, my lady, are you sure that’s wise? The law states that the jewels sold here must be checked by the alchemist for poison.”

She hesitated and lowered her hand, evidently forgetting her own laws of the land. She glanced down at the rings and Aman felt a tension rise in his spine. He had not laced any of them with hydra’s blood, knowing of the laws in Sparta. They had to take a more direct approach with this mission. If she took the ring, the mission was over.

Guard: “My queen, Princess Helen is not so sick. She can wait a day. It is better to be safe.”

Aman Tabiz: “It is no business of mine, either way, my queen! But I always pay my taxes and follow the rules in my business. You are the arbiter of those rules, so the decision is yours to make. I expect those rules are there to protect us all.”

Queen Leda: “Tomorrow then. Take it to the alchemist immediately.”

Aman Tabiz: “It shall be done!”

Queen Leda: “The guards will expect your man.”

The next day the ring had been screened by the alchemist and handed back to Pirithous who went on his way to the palace. He hobbled up the stairs and announced himself to the guards as carrying the ring. They allowed him access to the palace. It wasn’t long before he was skulking through the shadows and found the Princess Helen in the garden. It wasn’t the best spot as it was so open to observation, but the guards were not on duty this far into the palace. Arrogance breeds complacency he long ago realised. He poked his head out of the doors.

Pirithous: “My princess, I have brought you the ring promised!”

Helen turned and walked up to him. Pirithous stared at her. Her pretty, little face looked up at him with large, innocent eyes. She smiled politely. He looked her up and down and his lip trembled.

Pirithous: “How did we miss this?”

Helen: “Miss what?”

Pirithous: “You’re just… a child.”

Helen: “Yes. I suppose even children get sick. I am not so very sick though. My mother just wants me to remain strong. Will the ring not work on children?”

Pirithous’ plans had crumbled and now he didn’t know how to deal with the situation. He needed to leave but Helen had seen his face and could easily identify him should they ever return to finish the job when she was a grown woman. He swallowed. He knew he should kill her. What difference did it make if she was young or old, she had to die either way?

He slipped out his knife. Helen looked at it in horror. He moved his arm and she tried to defend herself. Quite admirably, he had to admit, for a child. She was evidently learning from her mother. The knife struck Helen in the face and she toppled over and fell to the ground. Even the hilt of a knife was a useful tool when needed. He leant down and scooped up the unconscious girl. He had no idea what he was doing or how he was going to get out of this situation without being killed. He cursed his stupidity.

From inside his robes he snatched a grappling hook. There were always plans for escape. He threw it and it hooked on the exterior wall. With the girl over his shoulder he climbed up the wall, though it was an arduous process that took a lot of strength from him. He got to the top and had to rest. He looked out over the wall and saw how close to the river he was. Down there was Aman and their boat. Originally he was supposed to walk out the front door quietly and saunter down the street but now he would have to run across the field with the girl over his shoulder and hope he’s not seen.

He ran.

He was seen.

Alarm bells sounded. A couple of arrows struck the ground but soon stopped when someone intelligent reminded them they might hit the princess. The boat was already starting to move down the river when Pirithous arrived.

Aman Tabiz: “Why is she here!?”

Pirithous: “Because we didn’t do our research enough. We’ve gotten careless, Aman. Look at her!”

He tossed her into the boat.

Pirithous: “She’s, what, seven? Eight? We came too soon to this job.”

He glanced up at Aman’s cold face.

Pirithous: “Wait, you knew!?”

Aman Tabiz: “It must be done, Pirithous. That’s our job.”

Pirithous: “Not children, Aman! Never children.”

Aman Tabiz: “And now what are we to do with her? Keep her until she’s old enough to be killed?”

Pirithous: “Well… yes. Yes, that’s it.”

Aman Tabiz: “And you think that’s the merciful way?”

Pirithous: “Look, I don’t know! Okay? I just—I just grabbed her. We’ll figure it out later.”

Although the Spartan military was an efficient killing machine, it wasn’t the best when it came to subterfuge, unlike out intrepid anti-heroes. They were able to escape Sparta, over hills and dales, and made their way to sea. They kept Helen asleep most of the days using drugs, only allowing her time to eat and toilet a few times in the day. They went straight for the island of Lesbos where an old friend of Aman’s ran a ‘School for Crazies’.

The island was a lush, verdant paradise of temperate weather. The Aegean Sea brought cool winds to the island while the sun kept it warm. The small settlement there had a newly built school, which is where the two men carried their victim. The building was far grander than Aman expected it to be. It had white columns and an orange tiled roof. There were fenced gardens all around the school with several private gazebos and a large plaza at the rear. It was in the plaza that they met the owner of the school, an old crone by the name of Medea.

She was seated on a stone bench watching several girls making a performance. The performance wasn’t very good as they seemed to constantly forget lines, or even where they were. But they tried and Medea was encouraging with claps and cheers. She wore a toga in the Greek fashion now, but she insisted on the toga being hooded to cover her hair. She glanced up at the two men and was surprised to see them coming. She snapped at the girls;

Medea: “Enough, girls! We have guests! Remember your manners!”

Two of the girls did remember and they scurried over to bow and greet the strangers. A couple others followed their example, while the rest stood around confused. Those who forgot were not chastised but helped along by another adult woman. She was much younger than Medea, being in her mid-twenties. She was Grecian woman of high class from the way she spoke and her manners. She was very attentive to the girls and whispered encouragements to them.

Medea: “My long-lost boyfriend!”

Some of the girls gasped and giggled.

Aman Tabiz: “I am not—”

He then just rolled his eyes.

Aman Tabiz: “I need your help, Medea.”

Pirithous: “Don’t you think the name of your school is a little on the nose?”

Medea: “Well, sometimes subtlety is lost on people, so why bother. What do you need? Why have you kidnapped a girl?”

Pirithous: “Um…”

They retired to one of the private gazeboes where Aman explained their endeavours in Sparta. When Medea pressed for explanations of their actions, they refused. They were under strict oath not to reveal Hera’s involvement in the affairs and even telling Medea this much was a great risk. Aman, however, was certain she could be trusted enough.

Medea: “Well, there is a problem.”

Aman Tabiz: “And that is?”

Medea: “I’m leaving Lesbos.”

Pirithous: “Crap.”

Aman Tabiz: “Where are you going? Can you take Helen with you?”

Medea: “I don’t think so, she’d be recognised in an instant. I’m going to live in Troy. There’s a girl here, she’s the daughter of the king of Troy. She’s batshit crazy. I mean the ‘I see dead people’ level. But she also seems to have the gift of future-sight. The problem is, it’s all jumbled up in the nonsense so nobody knows what to listen to. She might scream, ‘oh no, please don’t die’ and put everyone on alert but then someone stands on a bug and she cries. Other times she’ll start spouting deaths of dozens of people, but all for wars or plagues that don’t exist yet. Maybe not for thousands of years. Do you know what a Spongebob[Ext 1] is? She talks about him a lot. I think it’s a god of some lost nation called United Americas. I try to piece things together, which is why I want to go with her. I’m writing my memoirs before I die. If I can cobble together all the jibberish she spouts, my name will live on in history for deciphering the code!”

Aman Tabiz: “Or hers will.”

Medea: “Well yes, but I’m the author so my name goes on the cover!”

Pirithous: “Well, what’re we going to do?”

From the bench beside them, Helen started to stir.

Medea: “The school will go over to my assistant, Sappho.”

They glanced over to look at the dark-haired woman who was helping a girl wipe drool from her chin.

Medea: “I’m a bit worried though.”

Aman Tabiz: “About Sappho? Why?”

Medea: “Well…”

She leaned in conspiratorially.

Medea: “She’s one of them, you know?”

Pirithous: “One of who?”

Medea: “You know? They like their toast buttered in the morning? She loves a good strawberry. Always licks her yogurt pot.”

Pirithous: “Oooooooooooh!”

He blushed.

Medea nodded knowingly at Pirithous but Aman was still confused.

Aman Tabiz: “I don’t get it.”

Pirithous: “She’s a lesb—”

Medea: “She’s a damn poet!”

Pirithous blinked.

Pirithous: “Oh…”

Medea: “Can you believe it? What’s the world coming to when women want to be poets!? Poetry is far too manly! You know she wrote an Ode to Aphrodite[Ext 2]!? Can you believe that? I mean, she is lesbian so I suppose it makes sense.”

Pirithous blinked again.

Pirithous: “Uh… oh?”

Medea: “But you know there’s something else?”

Aman Tabiz: “What’s that?”

Medea: “I think there’s something… wrong with her.”

Pirithous: “Like a sickness?”

Medea: “Well. She doesn’t like the sun very much. She usually stays indoors. Sometimes when she is out in the sun, I swear she sparkles! Like bloody glitter! Like those lame Twilight[Ext 3] vampires!”

Aman Tabiz: “What?”

Medea: “Oh, that’s how Cassandra describes them.””

Aman Tabiz: “Cassandra?”

Medea: “The crazy girl with future sight! Are you paying attention?”

The men decide not to remind her she didn’t tell them the girl’s name until just now.

Aman Tabiz: “So you think Sappho is some kind of… monster?”

Medea: “I don’t know. Maybe I’m thinking too much into it. She does have some… special friends in town though.”

Pirithous: “Well, you did say she’s a lesbian so…”

Medea: “So? What?”

Pirithous: “Well… nevermind. Is it safe to leave Helen here? Tell everyone she’s a crazy girl—”

Medea: “You can’t call them that! Mentally challenged!”

Pirithous: “But your school is—and you said—fine. Tell everyone she’s mentally challenged. That way, whenever she tells people she’s a princess of Sparta they won’t believe her, right?”

Medea: “Sure. There’s a few princesses of that nature here already.”

Pirithous: “There are!?”

Medea: “Sure! Everyone’s always trying to get a princess out of the way, say she’s dead back home. You wouldn’t believe. So it’s fine, no problem.”

The two men straightened up and left Helen on the bench.

When the girl awoke she found Medea seated beside her.

Helen: “Who’re you? Where am I?”

Medea: “Hello there, girlie. I’m Medea. I’ll be looking after you for a few months before I leave. Then Ms Sappho will be looking after you.”

Helen: “Where’s my mother?”

Medea: “Back in Sparta I suspect.”

Helen: “I want to go home.

Medea: “I want to be young and beautiful again, but that’s not going to happen either.”

Helen sulked, ready to cry. Only her Spartan training kept her emotions in check.

Medea: “Say, do you know anything about magic?”

Helen: “Only what I read in books.”

Medea grinned mischievously.

Medea: “Wanna learn how to blow shit up?”

Aman Tabiz and Pirithous were well on their way to their next target by the time Helen started learning to basics in magic with Medea. In the months Helen spent with Medea she learnt a lot about magic and the mechanics by which it works. But eventually the old woman had to leave and she set out for Troy with her young ward, Cassandra, and Sappho came to run the school. Helen was cared for but every day she longed to return home.

The two anti-heroes’ journey took them further than they had ever travelled before. The ship they bought was an old one, meaning it drew less notice and didn’t require any official documentation to be processed. The name of the ship was the Argo and was around fifty years in age. The thing had been built to last, unlike most ships of the era, but it struggled with the waves of the Indian Ocean. Most Greek and Egyptian ships were only meant for the Mediterranean and seas similar but the Argo had been built for a much longer voyage – making it the ideal ship for the two men. Deep in the Indian Ocean, far from land, they eventually saw their quarry.

Looming in the sky, with ocean waves lapping at its rocky bottom, was a floating island. Waterfalls cascaded down its sides and a halo of light encompassed the thing, created by the spray of water. This was the last remnant of the Lemurian continent, something only someone as ancient as Aman Tabiz would know. He was forced, now, to explain his long origin as the world’s First Man to Pirithous. He avoided too much detail, not wanting to overwhelm his roguish friend, but it was a testament to his knowledge of the world that so few people of the era could understand. He pointed to the island;

Aman Tabiz: “That is the island of Uttura Madurai, once home to one of the Three Sangams of Kumari Kandam, a queendom of Lemuria. It’s the only thing left. Everything else is under the ocean, lost to us.”

Pirithous: “And the last of the Lemurians live there?”

Aman Tabiz: “No. If any of them did survive up there, they’d have died out long ago. The population would have been too small to last. We’ll just find the ziggurat ruins and maybe some of the small houses that supported the ziggurat itself.”

Pirithous: “If nobody lives there, why are we here?”

Aman Tabiz: “I didn’t say nobody lives there.”

And so they discussed the project. This plan had been in the works for the past year as they had spread rumours ever since the death of Hercules about who stole his bow. They blamed the act on the person everywhere they went, especially around Thessaly, where Hercules had died. Every port they entered they spread the tale. Anyone seeking knowledge of the bow would invariably hear of these rumours.

To get up to the island they used a teleportation scroll they got from Medea before they left. However it was a one time use so they had to strap bizarre contraptions to their backs which were known as ‘parachutes’. Nobody had been crazy enough to use them yet so they were not widely used.

They reached the island to find it much as Aman had expected. The old ziggurat was a complete ruin and overrun by the plant life of the island. Aman explained that the ziggurat was sistered to two other ziggurats, as part of the Three Sangams, which were both under the ocean with the rest of Lemuria. There had been Kapatapuram and Tenmaturai. He explained how he had learnt, at the time, that Tenmaturai had been the birthing place of the gods Apollo and Artemis by their human mother Leto.

Pirithous: “Are you sure we can kill them? They might be children of a mortal but I think they are actual gods, not demi-gods.”

Aman Tabiz: “We’re not here for them.”

He lifted the bow.

This venture was all too easy. The two gods had brought their half-brother and half-god, Orion, to live on their island home. Orion, who was now a middle-aged man but as innocent as a child, was running across the ruins of the ziggurat, playing. Pirithous looked unhappy but Aman fired the arrow. He had been certain to use one of Hercules’ original arrows, which were especially fashioned with his signature, so that the bow and arrow could be connected.

Orion was shot and went down. It wouldn’t be long before the twins found him so the two killers leapt from the island and activated their parachutes. It was a choppy ride down but they managed to land in the ocean and were soon rescued by the Argo’s crew. Once aboard they set sail for the nearest landmass and took refuge there for several weeks, living off the island. They didn’t want to be seen out at sea and get caught by the watchful gaze of Apollo.

The arrow had been laced with a maddening poison that Aman had procured from Hermes Trismegistus, who was working as an alchemist again but worked along with a cow named Taliesin in Athens. Why there was a talking cow, Aman decided not to ask. The poison, when struck into Orion, caused him first to become disorientated and then to go berserk. When the twins found him on the ground, he tried to kill them with his mighty club. He acted like any savage beast. While a normal human wouldn’t be able to kill either Apollo or Artemis, Orion, as a demi-god, certainly could. As he raged Apollo realised that he had been poisoned and tried to use his godly-powers to cure him. Unfortunately, as Apollo paused, he was struck a great blow by Orion and given a mortal wound. Artemis, with tears in her eyes, was forced to put an arrow through her half-brother’s head and kill Orion. She whisked Apollo away to Mount Olympus to be healed, where he would remain for many years.

Artemis then found the person accused of stealing the bow.

Artemis: “You will meet your end now, mortal.”

Random Guy: “Uh—”

And he was dead. Once again the true killers went without blame. Orion was the prime target but if he had killed Apollo or Artemis in the struggle, the contracted killers would have been happy.

A few months went by and they had their biggest project to date. Sailing out to the Indian Ocean to find an ancient and forgotten flying island would pale in comparison. They had to journey into the depths of Hades for the daughter of Zeus, and wife of Hades, Persephone.

Aman Tabiz: “We should wait for her to ascend from Hades. Every year she will go to Mount Olympus. When she first rises, she will be vulnerable and open to attack.”

Pirithous: “I’m sorry, Aman, but I’m out. This is the last mission. I promised Hippodamia I would return in a year.”

Aman frowned.

Aman Tabiz: “You actually meant that? I thought it was part of the act.”

Pirithous: “It was! But… ever since we kidnapped Helen, I’ve been thinking about Spud.”

Aman frowned deeper.

Aman Tabiz: “You’ve been thinking about potatoes?”

Pirithous: “No! That’s the nickname I gave Hippodamia’s son. He’s a good lad and, you know, I really felt like I was his father. Do you know what that’s like?”

Aman did indeed have children but he could only related to a certain extent. His feelings on his children were far more complex than the feelings of a father over a single child. And yet in many ways that relationship was even more complex than his own, having such emotional feelings of attachment at the expense of others was one that Aman could only loosely sympathise with. His only true love had been his long-dead wife and even now he couldn’t say how much of his love for her was genuine love, like it had been when she lived, or if it was habitual and traditional, built on foundations rather than truth. He did know, however, that he could love no other.

He thought about how he would feel if she came back now and what he would give up for that.

Aman Tabiz: “You wish to be that man. Then this will be our last task and we will do it before the year is through.”

Pirithous: “Thank you. Hey, I guess this means you get to be boss of the Egypt Twats!”

Aman Tabiz: “And my first order of business will be to change that damn name.”

Pirithous just laughed and they plotted their final caper.

They first returned to Egypt to study how to access Hades, especially they wanted to enter undetected. They went to the Great Library, wherein every book in existence throughout the Multiverse can be found so long as you know where to look. Doors to alternate universes would open up and people would slip into this reality, making the Great Library a very elitist institution where only the registered people of the world could enter. Aman Tabiz was naturally on that list, though he realised he was still registered under his old name of Adai Theos.

There they learn of the recent venture into Hades by Thetis, mother of Achilles, the Scourge of Gods. The information had become widely available since Hades himself now protected Achilles and so even Zeus, Hades’ brother, couldn’t kill the human. It told how Thetis found her way in there by travelling from a rival underworld, that of Egypt.

Although Hathor, an Egyptian god who did help take the dead to Duat, was in on Hera’s scheme, this method would be too risky. The Olympians were now aware that the Egyptian gods did this and would be watching, not to mention Hades had been in on the act last time and allowed it to happen. He was also uncertain that Osiris would allow them access on the grounds of murdering a god of the underworld, even of a rival religion.

Instead they would need an alternative underworld to go through and they would need an excuse.

They went back to the Theban Necropolis. Just like last time, as they approached Deir el-Medina, Ptah appeared before them.

Ptah: “Ah, it is you two again. Long time, no see!”

He patted Pirithous on the bum.

Pirithous: “I… I have a girlfriend, oh Ptah.”

Ptah: “Aha! You’ll be married soon enough then!? Marriage is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? Mine was beautiful ceremony. A big cake, lots of bridesmaids. Sekhmet was simply handsome in her tuxedo.”

Pirithous: “I hope tuxedo is some kind of dress.”

Ptah: “What?”

Pirithous: “Nothing.”

Aman Tabiz: “We’re here to see Hathor.”

Ptah: “Oh, pooh! Come to see her again? Why can’t you come to see me?”

Aman Tabiz: “Last time, you weren’t exactly trusting of us, were you?”

Ptah: “Good point. And I still don’t. You’ll have to skirt around the village again. Only you’ll be going past my shrine, this time. Hathor isn’t in her temple, she’s in the Valley of Queens. Allow me to guide you.”

He guided them down the path, away from the Temple of Hathor, and towards the distant mountains, wherein would be the Valley of Queens. As they approached the shrine, built into the rock, to Ptah the god is suddenly struck down as woman leapt out of nowhere. With a long staff she struck him in the stomach and then the face and then again with such a powerful whack that he went flying backwards and landed flat on his back.

Pirithous looked up to see that the tall woman was no woman at all but a cobra-headed god. She had the body of a woman, all the curves necessary to make that fact abundant, but her head was green and the hood wide open and filled with bright, dangerous colours. Though her eyes were positioned like a snake, they were clearly human and had blue irises. Before either of them could open their mouths, she beat them both with her staff until they, too, were in the ground.

Snake-god: “Who goes there!?”

Pirithous: “You couldn’t ask that before you hit us!?”

She gave him another whack.

Ptah: “It’s me! Meretseger, it’s me! It’s Ptah!”

She turned her head a little to get a better look at Ptah as he patted himself down.

Meretseger: “Ah. So it is.”

Ptah: “Seriously! Every damn time! I have green skin, how many humans come in here with green skin!? I’m a god, you know? I’m a more important god that you, even!”

Meretseger: “In the necropolis, no one is more important than Meretseger.”

Pirithous: “Why are you gods all trying to be the best god of the necropolis anyway? It’s just a bunch of dead pe—OUCH!”

Meretseger: “Meretseger did not give the humans permission to get up.”

The two humans lay on the ground with some frustration.

Ptah: “They’re here to see Hathor.”

Meretseger: “What for?”

Aman Tabiz: “That’s our business.”

She whacked him across the jaw and he fell sideways.

Aman Tabiz: “Okay, you really need to stop hitting us.”

Meretseger: “Meretseger is the Guardian of the Theban Necropolis. Intruders must be punished. The pharaohs and their queens lie here and must remain undisturbed.”

Ptah: “I’m sure Hathor will want to see them.”

The snake woman seemed to consider this, though it was difficult to read any kind of emotions on the reptilian face. Her body was clothed in very post-modern era styled clothes that were made entirely from snake-skin. From the jacket, to the tight trousers, the boots and the belt. The jacket was open to reveal that she had a woman’s chest, but the sides of the coat never flapped in the wind to show anything more than the inner curves. Aman was sure a snake-god wearing snake clothes was like a human wearing human leather.

Meretseger: “Then Meretseger will guide you to Hathor and keep watch over the humans.”

Ptah: “Hey now, I was guiding them!”

Meretseger: “Meretseger does not care what Ptah was doing with the humans. Now the humans are with Meretseger.”

Ptah: “You’re so mean to me, you know that?”

Meretseger: “Meretseger is mean to every person.”

Pirithous: “I don’t think that’s something to brag about.”

Meretseger: “What is the human’s name?”

Pirithous cursed himself for drawing her attention but he told her his and Aman’s names. But upon hearing their names she hisses aggressively at them.

Meretseger: “The Egypt Twats!”

Pirithous: “Wooooow! You’ve heard of us!?”

She whacked him with her staff and then whacked Aman too, for good measure.

Meretseger: “Egypt Twats stole from Valley of Kings. Meretseger punished Egypt Twats severely. Pirithous and Aman Tabiz must be here for more punishment!”

Aman Tabiz: “We didn’t know this happened, we didn’t authorise a raid on the necropolis. I’m sorry. We’ve been away for many years. The gang has been doing its own thing without us. We’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

She tapped her staff upon the sand in thought.

Meretseger: “Meretseger will take Pirithous and Aman Tabiz to Hathor. She will confirm if Egypt Twats are welcome here. If not…”

She hissed at them and spat at them.

Aman Tabiz: “Message understood.”

Ptah: “You are a remarkable woman, Meretseger.”

She hissed at the green-skinned god.

Meretseger: “Ptah go away! Humans belong to Meretseger now!”

Aman Tabiz: “I wouldn’t say belong…”

Meretseger: “Aman Tabiz is in Theban Necropolis. Meretseger is Guardian of Theban Necropolis. Aman Tabiz belongs to Meretseger until Aman Tabiz leaves the necropolis.”

Ptah: “You never want to own me...”

Meretseger: “Ptah go away or Ptah get staff to the face.”

She glared at him.

Meretseger: “Again!”

Ptah: “You know, my wife could beat you up!”

Meretseger: “Sekhmet also get staff to the face!”

Ptah: “I’d like to see you try!”

Meretseger: “Sekhmet bring it! Ptah bring it! Meretseger Guardian of the Theban Necropolis! Meretseger whoop ass!”

Aman Tabiz: “Ptah, Ptah, it’s okay if we go with her. Thank you for your help so far.”

Pirithous: “You are a very… gay god.”

Ptah:Gay!?”

Pirithous: “As in happy!”

Ptah: “Well, I do try! Unlike some!”

He gave a little pout at Meretseger, who waggled the tip of her staff at him and he turned and left.

Aman Tabiz: “Now that’s over, perhaps we can—OUCH!”

Meretseger: “Meretseger never say Aman Tabiz can get up.”

They lay on the ground until, finally, she relented and let them stand up. Even then they cautiously did do. The snake-god led them towards the Valley of Queens. The mountains rose up on either side of the road and deep in the valley were tombs built into the mountains. Paths ran up the sides of the mountains to alternate entrances to various burial sites. When they reached the threshold, there appeared Hathor.

Hathor: “Oh. It’s you two.”

Meretseger: “Hathor know Egypt Twats?”

Hathor looked aghast.

Hathor:What!?”

Aman Tabiz: “She means the name of our gang.”

Hathor: “Oh. Well, I know these two at least. They’re… permitted here. When on business to see me anyway.”

Meretseger: “But not to see Ptah, right?”

Hathor smirked.

Hathor: “No. If anyone comes here just to see Ptah, you can throw them out.”

Meretseger: “Ha! Fuck Ptah!”

Pirithous: “Are you guys bullying Ptah? I feel sorry for the guy now.”

Hathor: “He shouldn’t go round telling everyone he’s the best god of the necropolis then! Everyone knows it’s me!”

Meretseger: “No! Hathor is not the best god of Theban Necropolis! Meretseger is Guardian of Theban Necropolis! Meretseger is best god of Theban Necropolis!”

Hathor: “You’re bloody not, you snake-face—OUCH!”

Hathor got a staff to the gut and then more whacks until she was also pummelled into the sand. There she managed to groan;

Hathor: “Fine. Fine… Meretseger is the best god of the necropolis…”

Meretseger: “Ha! Meretseger whoop ass! Pirithous and Aman Tabiz heard what Hathor said!? Best god, Meretseger.”

Hathor: “Meretseger…”

Meretseger: “What, second best god of the necropolis?”

Hathor: “You can piss off now.”

Meretseger hissed.

Meretseger: “What is Hathor plotting in Theban Necropolis? This is no place for plotting with Egypt Twats!”

Hathor: “It is if I say it is. I may not be the guardian here, but I am still a caretaker of the dead and this is my domain too. I can do business here as I like.”

Meretseger grumbled but snatched her staff out of the sand and marched away.

Hathor: “This is probably no longer the best place for us to meet. Meretseger may not be so lenient next time. And given the nature of your task, if she alerts anyone to your being here it could start a negative chain of reactions…”

Aman Tabiz: “I understand. This will be our last visit.”

Hathor: “Quitting already?”

Aman Tabiz: “We have thinned the herd more than enough by now, I believe. Our benefactor will be most please, I’m sure.”

Hathor: “And what can I do for you?”

Aman Tabiz: “We need to become your handmaidens…”

Hathor looked from him to Pirithous and back again.

Hathor: “Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight…”

Notes

Britt's Commentary

"This post is loosely based on the abduction of Helen of Sparta[Ext 4] by Pirithous[Ext 5] and Theseus[Ext 6], though Theseus is replaced by Aman. In the original the two men are abducting her so that Theseus can forcibly marry/rape her, but here it is all part of the scheme to kill the children of Zeus[Ext 7]. This meant I had to think of a reason that they did not kill her, while in the original they never intended her death at all. To this end, I tied Pirithous back to his feeling for the character Spud in Leg Post 64. References to the Three Sangams and the floating island is adding to the lore of Lemuria, but is loosely based on the original mythology of Lemuria[Ext 8]. The death of Orion is also very, very loosely based on the story of Orion[Ext 9] where he died during a hunt with Artemis[Ext 10] and Leto[Ext 11]. The name that Pirithous gives as Master Spice GeriMelMelPoshBaby is a reference to the Spice Girls[Ext 12] and its individual members; Geri Halliwell[Ext 13], Melanie Brown[Ext 14], Melanie Chisholm[Ext 15], Victoria Beckham[Ext 16] and Emma Bunton[Ext 17]. When Medea says "I see dead people", this is a reference to the infamous line spoken in Sixth Sense[Ext 18]. The name of 'Egypt Twats' was an in-joke when Al Ciao the Writer kept misreading the word 'Egyptworts' as 'Egypt Twats'. Sappho is based on the real poet Sappho[Ext 19] who was a lesbian from the island of Lesbos[Ext 20], from which the term 'Sapphic' and 'Lesbian' derive. She is well outside of her lifespan here, however it is suggested that she is a NeSferatu by Medea, giving her an extended lifespan that could cover her true dates." ~ Britt the Writer

References

External References

  1. SpongeBob SquarePants article, Wikipedia.
  2. Ode to Sappho article, Wikipedia.
  3. Twilight article, Wikipedia.
  4. Helen of Troy article, Wikipedia.
  5. Pirithous article, Wikipedia.
  6. Theseus article, Wikipedia.
  7. Zeus article, Wikipedia.
  8. Lemuria article, Wikipedia.
  9. Orion article, Wikipedia.
  10. Artemis article, Wikipedia.
  11. Leto article, Wikipedia.
  12. Spice Girls article, Wikipedia.
  13. Geri Halliwell article, Wikipedia.
  14. Melanie Brown article, Wikipedia.
  15. Melanie Chisholm article, Wikipedia.
  16. Victoria Beckham article, Wikipedia.
  17. Emma Bunton article, Wikipedia.
  18. The Sixth Sense article, Wikipedia.
  19. Sappho article, Wikipedia.
  20. Lebos article, Wikipedia.
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